About Devita Writer

Brief Biography

Devita Stipek Writer (b. 1944) is an established Alaska artist and long-time Alaskan. Her Great Grandfather Vaslov Stipek traveled from New York and settled in Nome in the late 1800’s during the Gold Rush. The Carrie McLain Memorial Museum in Nome is named after her great aunt.

Devita was born in Seattle but spent most of her life in Alaska. After a promising start as a painter, in the early 1960’s Devita left art school to marry an Alaska fisherman. There followed a life of adventure, raising and homeschooling three children in fishing villages from Ketchikan to Kodiak eventually settling in the tiny isolated fishing village of Elfin Cove on the wild outer coast of Southeast Alaska where they fished and operated the only general store between Sitka and Yakutat. Her husband was lost at sea shortly before Christmas, 1979.

Studios both in Juneau and at the family homestead on a remote island on the Inside Passage. Although not as active in the exhibition scene as she once was, awards continue to stalk her. In more recent years her work was selected by the Alaska State Museums for a traveling exhibit of Alaska Artists sponsored by the Rasmuson Foundation.

Devita Stipek Writer, at Juneau Artists Gallery, 2021
Devita Stipek Writer, 2021, at age 77.

Artist Statement:

“Painting outdoors, directly from the scene, is still where it happens for me. As I’ve grown older, and facing the rigors of plein air painting in Alaska, I find that I may start a painting out doors, capturing the essence, and finish in the studio. My goal is not to reproduce a landscape as a photograph, rather to allow room for the viewer’s own imagination. Or as Van Gogh said, not so detailed you can stick your nose in, perhaps best seen from a certain distance. Color and movement, the smell of the salt air on a chill Alaska breeze. A single brushstroke an element unto itself. Traditional oils lend themselves to this in the astonishing way pure pigments refract light, a painting that changes even as the light in a room changes or as it catches your eye when you walk past. A painting with a life of its own.”

“I find myself attracted to the Post Impressionists, more particularly the Fauvists like Emil Nolde and Georges Rouault. As artists of old, append my work Soli Deo Gloria.”